A scatter plot or scatter chart is a chart used to show the relationship between two quantitative variables. A scatter chart has a horizontal and vertical axis, and both axes are value axes designed to plot numeric data. On this worksheet, we have the height and weight for 10 high school football players. Let’s create a scatter plot to show how height and weight are related. When creating scatter charts, it’s generally best to select only the X and Y values, to avoid confusing Excel. Here I’ll select all data for height and weight, then click the scatter icon next to recommended charts. The first preview shows what we want - this chart shows markers only, plotted with height on the horizontal axis and weight on the vertical axis. When I click the mouse, Excel builds the chart. Let’s check Select Data to see how the chart is set up. Here you can see there is one data series. X values come from column C and the Y values come from column D. Now, since we already have a decent title in cell B3, I’ll use that in the chart. Just select the title, type an equal sign, and click the cell. Next let’s adjust the vertical axis scale. To help make the relationship between height and weight clear, I’m going to set the lower bound to 100. I’ll double click the axis, and set the minimum to 100. Notice the horizontal axis scale was already adjusted by Excel automatically to fit the data. Next, I’m going to add axis titles. The easiest way to do this is to use the plus icon. Just select the chart, click the plus icon, and check the checkbox. While I’m here I’m also going to remove the gridlines. Just like the chart title, we already have titles on the worksheet that we can use, so I’m going to follow the same process to pull these labels into the chart. Select the title, type an equal sign, and click a cell. If you want a little more white space in the vertical axis, you can reduce the plot area, then drag the axis title to the left. Finally, let’s add a trendline. Trendlines help make the relationship between the two variables clear. Right click any data point, then select “Add trendline”. Excel adds a linear trendline, which works fine for this data. The data shows a strong linear relationship between height and weight.  Note that you can also use the plus icon to enable and disable the trendline.

Dave Bruns

Hi - I’m Dave Bruns, and I run Exceljet with my wife, Lisa. Our goal is to help you work faster in Excel. We create short videos, and clear examples of formulas, functions, pivot tables, conditional formatting, and charts.